When people ask me about Mom, they often ask me if I am sad – sad that she doesn’t recognize me as her daughter – sad that she has dementia. While I take no pleasure in the fact that Mom has dementia, I am equally unwilling to be sad.
Mom is safe; she takes pleasure in every moment and is, I think, genuinely happy. As her sister Louise says, “There is a lot to be said for losing your mind. Your mother really is the happiest woman I know.”
What is more interesting to me is the fact that my response elicits not only surprise but, more often than not, disappointment – almost as if they have an investment in my being sad – so powerful is the narrative that Alzheimer’s and dementia are a source of unrelenting sorrow and loss.
The hard time is when you realize that you are changing – that what you fear most, losing a central core of who you are, is actually happening and there is nothing you can do.
Then I was sad.
But it gets better when it gets worse. Now Mom lives in the moment where, as she so often declares, everything is “just delightful.”
This is why I am so eager to share her art. It vividly tells the story that life with Alzheimer’s can be one of joy and purpose.
To that happy end, THANK YOU EVERYONE for helping Mom’s Kickstarter Campaign achieve success. Mom and I thank you!!